There’s a small mountain (Volldalshöjden, or Volldalshøgda) you pass when you drive across the Sweden/Norway border here. Somehow I’ve managed to miss it all these years (it really doesn’t look like much from the road) but now I finally got my sights set on it. On paper it looked like an easy evening promenade of 6 km, and the weather forecast said it would be sunny, so no time like present! I left my car at the border (front bumper in Norway, rear bumper in Sweden) and started following the reindeer fence that marks the border.
There was however a dark cloud looming over the mountain. And I wasn’t wearing any rain proof clothes, because this was just a quick promenade in sunny weather! The rain drops had other ideas though, and I had no option but to seek shelter under a cliff. At least I was lucky that the raining started when I reached the cliff which was just about the only thing on the tundra that provided any shelter at all. I was sure that the rain would soon pass, and it did, but now of course the ground and everything growing on it was wet. Did I mention that I was wearing my ultralight hiking boots which absorb water rather than repel it?
I also had to get across some small patches of mire. Going around them would have been too long a detour, so I just gave up on even trying to keep my feet dry and walked through. My feet got soaked, I could feel the water between my toes with every step… but I’ll say this about my ultralight hiking boots. They were still super comfortable to wear, even when filled with water!
On the last approach to the peak, I found that the mountain is very mossy. And with the rain that had just passed, there was a little water seeping in the boots so the level of wetness was constant. When I reached the top, the first thing I saw was a big dark cloud in the south, so I didn’t stand around and admire the scenery for very long, I just wanted to get to the car before the cloud caught me out. But of course, the cloud was moving faster than I was, and it started raining again actually very close to the shelter where I had stayed earlier. It was decision time – wait out the rain, or go to the car and get wet? Because once I was in the forest, there was not going to be any stopping, I would rather get wet than suffer the mosquitoes.
The raining stopped just as I reached the car. All that was left to do was to wring the socks and drive home.
Sometimes these ”small evening promenades” are more memorable than the long day hikes!